You’re feeling congested. You walk into the pharmacy. You see rows of nasal sprays all promising to fix your stuffy nose, and fast.
But how do you know if you’re choosing the right medicine? Are nasal sprays even necessary?
For many patients, nasal spray can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan for sinus infections.
Type of Nasal Sprays
If your doctor recommends nasal spray for your symptoms, there are two main types you might be using:
Saline nasal spray
Imagine this like a humidifier for your nose. This type of salt-water spray can help moisturize nasal passages, which can dry out and cause mucus buildup or discomfort.
Medicated nasal spray
These come in over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription forms. They work by constricting the blood vessels in the nose so that the nasal area is less inflamed.
Something to note: these two types of sprays are not used the same way. Although saline nasal spray can be used daily, if approved by your doctor, OTC medicated sprays have to be used sparingly.
The Effects of OTC Nasal Sprays
If OTC sprays are used more than three days in a row, you can experience a “rebound effect.” This effect is an intense congestion that hits you when the medicine wears off. Prescription medicated sprays are designed to work differently to avoid the rebound effect.
If you’re taking a medicated spray, you need to be careful with oral decongestants. Decongestant sprays and decongestant pills are designed to treat the same symptoms, and doubling your treatment can mean a greater risk for side effects.
As with any treatment, your doctor will be able to advise you best about what medicine might be best for you — and whether you even need medicine at all.
If you’re sick of your sinus symptoms, give us a call to discuss a plan that’s right for you.